Muamba On The Road To Recovery

Good morning, after a couple of fraught days for football there was some degree of relief yesterday as it emerged that Fabrice Muamba is improving in hospital. Though his recovery still can’t be taken for granted, these signs look very positive and that’s fantastic news.

The last couple of days have seen the best and the worst of the footballing world, but personally I choose to focus on the best. The support that has flooded in for Muamba from every corner of the world has been a wonderful testament to the power of football to be a uniting force for good. Fans, clubs and organisations have spoken out to convey messages of comfort and support to Fabrice Muamba and his family and I think we should all, as fans, be proud of the respect that has been shown.

Arsene Wenger has spoken of Muamba’s time at Arsenal and his connection to the club. As has been comprehensively noted, Muamba started his career with us and still has a lot of friends at the club. The manager said,

This is of course a massive shock to us all and we just hope that Fabrice will pull through safely. You pray that the damage will be repaired and that Fabrice will come out healthy and we will see his smile again. That is all you wish for.

“As a man, Fabrice has a positive attitude towards life, he is full of determination and has a great desire. Everyone at Arsenal has huge respect for Fabrice. Even after he left us, he often passed by to say hello and speak about how it was going for him. We feel very deeply attached to him. 

“He is what you would call a committed player. His hunger and determination was so big. When he was younger, he had massive players in front of him at Arsenal, but I felt he had reached the level to play in the Premier League, so we let him go and he has proved his quality.

“A football player always remains attached to where he was educated. Fabrice had his friends from childhood here and they remain your friends forever.

“We are all thinking of Fabrice, his family and everyone close to him.”

In many ways Muamba was a little unfortunate not to have been a couple of years younger because if he had been I think he wouldn’t have had so much quality in front of him at Arsenal. His career at Bolton has shown that he’s more than got the quality for the top level and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him go on to play for a team further up the table than Bolton (provided of course, that he makes a full recovery). It seems like he’s been around forever because he emerged into first team football at the age of 17. In fact he is now only 23, and I sincerely hope that in time he’ll be able to return to what is a very promising career.

Over the last few days, thinking about Arsenal news has seemed a little trivial. Rightly I think our focus has been elsewhere as football fans but now, with the signs being that Muamba is improving and hopefully on his way to a recovery I think we can take a glance at the important game at Everton tomorrow.

The situation in the battle for Champions League qualification is such: Tottenham sit in third place, only a single point ahead of us in fourth. Beneath us in fifth, Chelsea are three points behind. Although we’re presently in line to qualify the situation is precarious with ten games left to play. Among those games is a huge match with Chelsea at home and a tough clash with Manchester City, also at home.

Tomorrow sees tests of varying severity for the three clubs. Chelsea will be travelling to Manchester City in what will be a big test for their supposed resurgence under Bob Matthews. Having slipped behind Manchester United in the table, Manchester City will be very eager for a result and for Chelsea to take three points in those circumstances would be an amazing result. Consequently we have to view our own game as an opportunity to put some space between ourselves and Chelsea. Everton are, as will be discussed tomorrow, a tough side, especially at home but they will be smarting from a heavy defeat in the derby against Liverpool last week. They did beat Spurs recently but whilst Spurs have been slipping in recent weeks, we’ve been on a major roll. I think we’ll be able to ask some better questions of them and I feel, though this may be the kiss of death, quietly confident that we’ll take the points. 

Spurs for their part face Stoke at home tomorrow. It’s not the match we’d hope for them to face, Stoke’s ability to take points from big teams on the road is not exactly well documented. However with Spurs continuing to feel the pressure, you never know what their bottling tendencies might make them do. My hopes aren’t high, I have to say but if Stoke could get something then potentially we could be third tomorrow night.

Further discussion of Everton can wait for tomorrow I think but in the meantime I’m going to go search for some breakfast. Have a good Tuesday!

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